ACPE's weekly digest to keep you connected, better informed, and well-resourced for the week ahead.
January 9, 2017
monday briefing header
Trace Informal
ACPE's Monday Briefing is a weekly digest from ACPE Executive Director Trace Haythorn
Each week you will receive related articles and updates on ACPE transitions. Also included are helpful links to keep you connected, better informed, and well-resourced for the week ahead.
Another Horror
We hold in thought and prayer those whose lives have been so violently taken, damaged or threatened by the Ft. Lauderdale shooting. And let us be ever-mindful of Syria, all places threatened by Isis, Turkey, and wherever violence seeks to destroy life. 
Greetings from COMISS!
As you receive this, I will be meeting with our colleagues from around the country at the annual convening of COMISS. You can expect reflections on this event from Carlos Bell and/or me in the next few weeks. Next week, Carlos and I will represent ACPE at the NAJC annual meeting in Cincinnati. We are grateful to be a part of such a collaborative profession!
Exciting New Study "Dignity Therapy RCT led by Nurses or Chaplains for Elderly Cancer Outpatients" Funded by the NIH
George Fitchett shared the following exciting news! "This fall chaplaincy research reached another major milestone with the funding of a new study entitled "Dignity Therapy RCT led by Nurses or Chaplains for Elderly Cancer Outpatients," by the National Institutes of Health. We believe this may be the first time the National Institute of Health has funded a study that includes a chaplain-led spiritual care intervention. The following link contains more information about the project....If you have any questions please let me know."
Congratulations George!
A Call for Spiritual Care Research Volunteers
U.S. healthcare pay-for-performance necessitates objectification of the results of clinical pastoral/spiritual care in order to provide demonstrable, replicable, evidence based best practices resulting in desired outcomes. Toward that end a content analysis of the 83 spiritual care case vignettes in The Pastoral Caregiver's Casebook, Volume One (Judson, 2015) identified and italicized words and phrases suggesting effectiveness. The most effective five cases (six or more words and/or phrases indicating effectiveness) underwent a more thorough analysis. A generic evidence based spiritual care best practice protocol toward replication of multiple instances of effectiveness was constructed from the material in the five vignettes indicating greatest effectiveness. It is hypothesized that when this generic evidence based spiritual care best practice protocol is used by a similar number of experienced spiritual caregivers and clinical pastoral education students, a significantly higher ratio of effective results will be obtained when compared to the original 83 case vignettes. 
Participants in this next research group-experienced spiritual caregivers and students alike-will emulate the qualities of the above mentioned five most effective caregivers while following a six-step procedure in their interventions for the study. A minimum of 80 chaplains, community clergy, lay volunteers, and/or CPE students is needed.Your help will be most appreciated! 
Contact Rev. John (Jack) Gleason, DMin, BCC (retired), ACPE Supervisor Emeritus, at to ask questions and sign up. If you are a CPE Supervisor, please so indicate in your response.
Request for Chaplain Participation in Moral Injury Program Development Survey
Brett Litz, Ph.D., and his colleagues at the Boston VA Healthcare System are conducting a program development and evaluation survey of individuals who provide care to Veterans and/or Service Members who have been exposed to different types of potentially morally injurious events. These are military or warzone experiences that transgressed or violated deeply held beliefs about right and wrong. Potentially morally injurious experiences may entail things that a Service Member did or failed to do (e.g., acts of perpetration of violence, mistakes, failing to stop unethical behavior, etc.) or they may entail transgressions of others that affected the service member (e.g., betrayal by trusted others, military sexual trauma, etc.). Dr. Litz and colleagues are asking chaplains and other providers across disciplines to summarize their observations of the diverse ways that potentially morally injurious experiences are affecting Veterans and/or Service Members who seek care. The aim is to gather ideas about the unique mental, behavioral, social, psychological, and spiritual outcomes associated with military and warzone transgressions, or moral injury.

If you have experience working with veterans and/or service members in this context, and are willing to participate in this foundational survey, please complete the attached survey form  and return the completed form to Dr. Litz

Please contact Dr. Litz, or John Schultz, Chaplain-Fellow, NYHHS VA,, with any questions.

Reinvigorating the Spirit of Leadership Retreat: An Invitational Retreat with Parker Palmer,  Marcy Jackson, &  Amani Legagneur
Thirty invited guests will join us for this rare opportunity to be in retreat with Parker Palmer, Marcy Jackson, and Amani Legagneur. At the intersection of vocation and identity, we find the purpose for which we are alive, the unique way in which our individual being contributes to the community of all being. The purpose of this retreat is to encounter others and ourselves compassionately and courageously at this sacred intersection. For more information, click here. 
A Poem for Reflection
Someone very dear to me encouraged me years ago to receive the abundance of the universe, not to hoard its precious resources. Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to this poem. Sometimes, the coincidences demand our attention:
"We Alone" by Alice Walker

We alone can devalue gold
by not caring
if it falls or rises
in the marketplace.
Wherever there is gold
there is a chain, you know,
and if your chain
is gold
so much the worse
for you.

Feathers, shells
and sea-shaped stones
are all as rare.

This could be our revolution:
to love what is plentiful
as much as
what's scarce.
Just for fun
Another song from Carrie Newcomer, one of our keynoters for 2017, "Help in the Hard Times."
Holidays This Week:

Monday, January 9
*Seijin-no-hi - Shintō
Coming-of-Age Day, a Japanese national holiday in which families travel to shrines and announce to the gods that their children have reached adulthood.  Prayers are offered for the children's wellbeing and lifelong health. 
Tuesday, January 10
*Memorial of Línjì Yìxuán - Buddhism
Anniversary of the death in 866 C.E. of the Chinese Buddhist teacher who founded what is often known as the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism.
Thursday, January 12
*Mahāyāna New Year - Buddhism
This celebration falls on the first full moon day in January for Buddhists who practice in the Mahāyāna (Great Vehicle) stream.  By contrast, in Theravadin countries (Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Laos) the new year is celebrated in April, while Tibetan Buddhists generally celebrate it in March.
Friday, January 13 
*Maghi - Sikhism
Commemorating a battle in which forty Sikhs (the Forty Liberated Ones or Immortal Ones), led by a woman named Maathaa Bhaag Kaur, sacrificed themselves for their guru.  
Sunday, January 15
*Makar Sankranti - Hinduism
A festival marking the change from decrease to increase of the sun.   
*World Religion Day - Bahá'í 
A celebration of the teachings of unity found in all religious traditions. The observance begins at sundown.

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